Bad Head Day


I’m tetchy today.
“What’s up with you now?” asks long-suffering Esther, with barely concealed irritation. Actually, it’s not concealed at all.
“I’m wearing all the wrong clothes” I mutter. I imagined that when I left the house, I would be wearing something understated and quietly elegant, that looks “nice”. Instead, everything feels ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Looking back, I think it’s my brain that’s ill-fitting.

"Does my brain look big in this?"

Everything is annoying me.

“Pathetic little mummy’s boy” I snarl at Devo, who is curled up in luxury on the sofa, gumming Lisa’s dressing gown like a blissful baby. PAH!

Under my breath, I mutter “I wish I could do that”

Babies are lucky bastards. Every need is catered for; every spiky thing is rounded off. How can the rest of life compete with that?

You start off a baby and you end up that way too, said Shakespeare. The older you get, the more you end up needing your bum wiping and your food mashing up for you.

Lisa and Esther are getting utterly despondent about having to clean their Gromy’s house every week.

Last time they went, Lisa said;

“It’s about time for your electric chair, isn’t it?”

What she meant (of course?) was a mobility scooter. But what her Freudian slip meant was a lethal piece of furniture.

Esther and her cousin, Britney, were chatting about Gromy yesterday after tea. Me and her boyf Justin sat in bemused silence.

“I reckon she’ll live to be 100” said Brit,

“If she lives past 100, I’m killing myself” says Esther resolutely. “It’s me or her.”

“Don’t worry, if she reaches 100, I’ll take over” reassures Britney.

After this had been decided, we moved on to ghost stories. The tension is building. We’ve had some high quality tales so far. I decide to mine the rich vein of odd things my mum has told me.

“My mum once slept in a hotel built on a Victorian pet cemetery”, I start,

“But she didn’t find that out till the morning after her dream…”

I am forced to abandon the story because everyone is laughing at me. I try a new one.

“Oh, and she saw the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the park near her dad’s house…Oh, wait, it was only one of them…”

I have to abandon that one too. These are meant to be scary not funny, god-damn-it. I give up.

I am temporarily distracted by The Whistling Man of Sharrowvale. Every so often, when me and Esther are sat in bed, we hear a funny repeated whistle out there in the street. First of all, we assumed it was a little old man who was too shy to call his dog by name, and was whistling his pet in for the night. How sweet, we thought.

However, I saw him a few days later and he is a young, blonde haired, sporty man that walks along and whistles sharply and nervously every 30 seconds along the way.

Esther has decided that he has Whistle Tourettes. Now we know this, it is really tempting to whistle back and see what happens.

I think she has Thought Tourettes- she just can’t stop thinking out loud. It really is a problem.

Stupid and Guilty as Sin. Nice clothes though.


I had this conversation with a fellow stalker in my dream last night:

Him “Who are you stalking?”
Me “My ex. Who are you stalking?”
Him “My mum”

"my level of humour"

My mum has just posted me Trev and Simon’s Stupid Book. Someone on BBC2’s poncey Late Review show might say they are the dada to vic and bob’s surrealism. One day they’ll reply to my letters.

The scariest thing is what someone has scrawled on the inside back cover…set 4 years in the future, it claims that Eric Cantona is a serial killer, and is written in the scrawly blue biro of a psychopath:

Hello, this is Crimewatch UK on the 25th January 1999. Now, do you remember a footballer called Eric Cantona? Yes, that’s right. He’s the one who murdered 11 people after being sent off in a match. Today is the 4th anniversary of that incident which took place when Crystal Palace played Manchester United at Selhurst park. We have made a reconstruction of what happened from the radio commentators Trevor Brooking and Mark Bright , who were two of Cantona’s victims. Listen to this and judge for yourself.

If you wrote it, get in touch.

Trev and Simon offer some timely tips too:

How to solve the problem of deforestation:

  1. Write to an MP
  2. Become an MP
  3. Become a tree

You know what, I’m fed up of feeling bad about the world’s problems.

Global Warming= my fault. If only I wasn’t vain enough to need hairspray, and if only I wasn’t too lazy to turn everything off at night.

Insects trapped on the bus= my fault. But recently I have become so apathetic that all I can do is watch the fly or bee hammer itself numbly against the glass, while feeling a dull sense of responsibility. It’s my fault coz I have noticed them and the only way they will get out alive is if I do something. I almost want to squash them to put them out of the hell of being trapped forever on a Stagecoach bus. But then I would have blood on my hands and would feel like a dirty killer.

Poverty= my fault. What else explains the guilt I feel when I see a Big Issue seller? It still doesn’t make me buy a magazine though. If they put more fashion in it and made it glossier, then I might consider it.

"I did actually buy this one. I was in my Gaga phase"

There are so many Big Issue sellers in Manchester that my grandad always gives me a copy he bought as a “a free pass” through the city- without it you will be asked over and over again to buy one. Once I get on the train, it goes straight in the bin.

I’ve written a song about this weird sense of middle-class guilt I feel all the time (having some upward mobility and the ability to read and write means I ought to really help out the ‘less fortunate’):

I bought me a big issue
Coz I feel so guilty
I smiled at the security guard
Coz I know his life is hard

Middle class guilt
It drives me wild
Middle class guilt
Coz im so mild

Third world poverty
Makes me come over all wobberly
Corruption and controversy
Oh lord I feel so bad
For all the Hot Wings ive had
Buddhist or eco warrior
That’s how to stop it botherin’ ya
The guilt is the gift that keeps on giving
It’s the delicious pain of western living

Middle class guilt
It drives me wild
Middle class guilt
Coz im so mild

I got bored halfway through and couldn’t be arsed to carry the lame joke any further. Still, I’ll settle for Top 20 in a faraway galaxy (where bad jokes are good ones). Just need Jedward’s home number to make it happen.

Lisa “it’s really annoying how you go for a partner because you want your kids to look nice. Dom’s got much better lips than me. But what use is that to me?”

Me “Esther, you didn’t choose me for that reason did you?”

Esther “yes I did actually. You were nice enough looking and you had good clothes”

I am mortified for some reason. So, I play devils advocate: “So I spose you go along looking at what’s available, thinking “I want THAT face bearing down on me in bed, and looking up at me from the a cot””

“That’s disgusting” says Esther. “But true”.

But we have decided we are not going to have children until we are mentally healthy enough to hack it (like that’s going to happen). For now, picking up Goldie’s poo and sick is enough. At least she won’t grow up and swear at us, or bring stray dogs back for orgies.

"I hate you shitface"

Camp as you like


"at night, Katy Perry is replaced by a normal woman"

“It’s horrible what people do when they think that no-one’s looking. It’s perverted” says Lisa. She is talking about the circus elephant who was beaten with a metal bar by its trainer. I can’t stop thinking about what I get up to, alone, with baited breath, in the witching hours. Actually, I am usually hauling my slug like body out of bed the few feet it takes to reach our en suite toilet for a wee. And then back to bed to squeeze my legs down the bed past the dog’s slumbering mass. Perverted, huh.

Lisa’s fact of the week: “It’s terrible what used to happen to prostitutes. They’d get diseases that made their faces turn black and bits drop off. It didn’t stop the men calling though”.

Shudder.

I just heard a serial killer’s poem on the news:

“Poor old Melissa

Chopped her up in bits”

Apparently John Sweeney used to get stoned off his gourd and write poetry and paint pictures all about maiming his lovers. He called himself “a manimal – twisted, confused, and very dysfunctional”

“A search of premises connected to him yielded two sawn-off shotguns, a Luger pistol, a bamboo garrotte and a hoard of more than 300 vividly violent drawings and poems depicting bloody attacks on female victims and police.

One drawing entitled The Scalp Hunter showed a female skull hanging from a belt and an axe. A poem written on the back of a scratchcard read: “Poor old Melissa, chopped her up in bits, food to feed the fish, Amsterdam was the pits.” Removing correction fluid from a drawing, police revealed a gravestone with “RIP Melissa Halstod born 12th December 56. Died – “.

So what are we to make of the creative output of monsters? Hitler’s watercolours (and Prince Charles’s come to think of it); Charles Manson’s songs; Fred West’s tea cosies?

We can’t help thinking ‘the hand that did this did that‘ and imagining all kinds of bad shit. Vicarious living, that’s called. It’s what we do because life is too safe and controlled. We are bored of our creature comforts: secretly we want to pull the stuffing out of our leather sofas so the unfinished wood snarls at our thighs, we want to smash the TV and stick our shaky fists into the smouldering box. Well, I do anyway.

If that sounds like fun, may I recommend the Black Bloc, a jolly society for bored young people who want to smash the shops that decline their credit cards.

"Down with colourful clothing"

Lisa had a dream that Devo could talk. She said “Devo, what are you thinking?”

He cocked his head to one side and mimicked her back “Devo, what are you thinking?” in a freaky ‘I am your superior’ bitchy voice. She woke up with a cold sweat.

What would stick insects sound like if they could talk? Exactly like Woody Allen, I bet.

"Run for your lives!"

This 5 a day thing is getting me down. I’m so far behind, I will never catch up. It’s like failing a school test every day for the rest of your life. It eats away at my esteem. I feel like a fruit fool, a legume loser.

I am now on a diet. This means I eat fruit and watch my calories and you can find me looking miserably at cakes, and blanking chocolate bars as if I never knew them.

Low moments in my self image no. 1:

When Esther’s parents said I remind them of Frank in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Here he is:

"Ooh Betty"

On top of this, my tutor suggested the other week that I look into ‘camp’.

Thanks.

I should have said “I do- Every time I look in the mirror, darling” and swished my minimal hair. I’m in good company…

 

 

Those Pesky Time Flies


"A late 20th Century torture device"

Esther found out that the Japanese earthquake has made our days a few micro seconds shorter FOREVER because it made us spin faster on our axis. Now she can’t stop thinking about this lost time.

“What if the next earthquake knocks us completely off our axis and we go spinning out into space?” she quivers.

“Well then, I guess we’re all fucked” I reply. No, I don’t actually because she’s the boss and such a quip would be considered insolent. Instead I comfort her with logic.

“That will never happen, I’m sure they would tell us etc”. At this point you conspiracy theorists will be sniggering at my naivety. As I have already told you, I think the man is misunderstood, and I enjoy the feeling of his/her big overprotective/oppressive arm round me. Oh how I wish I’d had a big brother to wrestle some sense into me. And to compare penis size with/ experiment with mutual masturbation. You know, the usual time-honoured family escapades.

“How many micro seconds are there in a second?” she asks

Google tells me there are 1 million.

“Oh, that’s rubbish” she mutters. “I don’t give a shit anymore”.

Real life always disappoints. Nobody discovers their junk is worth millions on Antique Roadshow. You don’t get model scouted on your way to Tesco. Getting high only leads to plummeting lower. Weird stuff that does happen is never the amazing things, always the mundane or sinister or depressing.

Thus, Lisa has become too scared to walk Devo in the cemetary in case the Polish man proposes. She has been forced to take affirmative action to point out to the overfriendly Pole that she is a taken woman.

He found her on facebook, and last week she agonised over a message that would put him straight. “I have a boyfriend” was all she could think of saying.

Unfortunately it only made him defensive. “I have a girlfriend too, of course” he wrote back. “Why should that stop us from meeting and talking?”

Lisa and Esther decided instead to avoid the park around the time he usually bumps into them.

"Goddammit, why isn't he looking at your beaver?"

I got really jealous the other week that he fancied Lisa and not Esther. “Why doesn’t he want you too?” I asked. “Maybe you’re not attractive enough” I thought. Fucked up as it sounds, I keep needing to know my girl is pretty to other people in order to have proof of my own attractiveness.

“You’re weird” says Lisa when she overhears me.

“Fuck off and get counselling” is Esther’s understandable reply.

A few days passed, and the girls managed to miss the Polack, thinking that maybe he had got the message and has backed off. Nipped his European openness in the bud so to speak, slapped a restraining order on his free spirit.

Today though, he finally caught up with them. He went aggro, singing raucous Polish songs to himself and throwing sticks at their heads, yelling “You should have safety helmets, hahaha”. He had replaced the behaviour of a lech with that of a sociopath.

“At least he had to stand further away to ‘accidentally’ throw sticks at us” Esther reasoned.

Is it better to be murdered than raped? Better to offend strangers than to have to pretend to be their friend? Better to throw sticks than to invite ridicule?

Adam Ant once went to his local for a quick pint, only to be bullied by chants of “ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

When he could take no more, he slunk off home and returned with a gun in his hand and a righteous glint in his eyes.

Poor Adam. He’s just like me, but famous. He likes to rant and get naked, and he can’t take any flak.

He’s welcome round mine any time. I really want to ask him how to apply eye shadow convincingly.

Today I dared myself to walk round Topman with a pair of purple glasses with flip-up shades, flipped up proudly. I managed a quick circuit of the men’s bit, then fled down the stairs, pretending to multitask on my fone so I didn’t meet anyone in the eye.

This is phase one of operation ‘pompous, public and proud’. More to follow. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of. No pain no gain. Or, as Rihanna sang, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me”.

"I meant it metaphorically"

 

Onion rings and shameless things


"Please go away, I can't hold this fake smile for much longer"

Unsent Letter No. 3

Dear, Dear Carey Mulligan,

I don’t know what it is about you. The French would say you have a certain I don’t know what. Ever since I saw you as a schoolgirl in An Education, I have been in love with your cute puppy-dog eyes and your old woman’s face.

One question oh prematurely aged one. Why Shia Le Boeuf? You look too classy to eat (Heaven Forbid!) beef. I imagine you snacking on a ripe Gala Melon, with the sap all running down etc. I live round the corner from a fruit and veg shop, so keeping stocked up on them won’t be a problem. If I change my name to Vienne Aux Melone will that entice you back to the fatherland (we can play who’s the daddy if you insist)?

Yours

V x

Esther is cutting all our fast food menus up. Not as part of our diet, simply because she is bored.
“You’re going to make a mess on the floor,” notes Lisa.
Esther grunts, furiously chopping. “Argh, the agony of creation” she shouts in a northern bloke/Vic Reeves voice.
She has finished cutting and lifts her creation aloft, opening it out into…a long thin strip.
“You’ve done it wrong you dickhead” says Lisa.
Esther screws it up and rolls a cigarette.

When you live with a girl, their feminine mystique dissipates pretty quickly. I’m completely transparent, so Esther never had anything to learn about me, but she was stand-offish and cynical from the very start, like a mouth full of sour skittles fighting back as your saliva glands flood with lust.

Oh actually, I’ve just remembered that Esther said that she thought I looked like a model until I opened my mouth- then a pair of dopey rabbit-teeth poked through and I grinned like a village idiot. The illusion was shattered by my nerd personality.

"Please don't make me show them again darling"

When we were younger, me and my friends planned all manner of ways to get girls to notice us. Harvey went through his psychic stalker phase where he told me excitedly about a technique called ‘remote influence’ where you could get girls to do what you want by simply willing it through astral projection. He spent many hours developing this skill, but never got a girl to do anything for him, except look at him with pity.

My speciality was the unflinching stare of longing. I would stare brazenly at my object of lust until I caught her eye, and I mistook her look of panic for attraction.

I still refuse to believe that beauty should be met with subtlety. Surely the only thing to do when confronted with gorgeousness is to drink it up gluttonously? Yet everyone else I know swears by a demure half glance and then feigned disinterest. How anyone can tell anything from that sort of namby pamby body language is beyond me. I’m with the autistics on this one.

"I want you"

What is it with me(n) and mirrors? Ever since I felt the buzz from looking in the full-length downstairs bathroom mirror when my parents were out, I have been an addict. I would take all my clothes off and watch in the mirror as merely the act of looking made my cock hard. I would get turned on by own turned on-ness. At the very last second, I would have to run in and direct my upward protuberance down into the porcelain bowl to shoot my load.

Those last few seconds are the very heights of pleasure, but they have forever been associated with sudden responsibility- anal retentiveness takes over from penile attentiveness. Joy turns into mess.

I never understood in films how men could wank with a box of tissues. I need lube; I need something to stop the chafing. I’ve tried glycerine, Vaseline, yoghurt, soap and finally a well-placed shower head (common to both sexes I believe). But I refuse to rub my dry head with my slightly sticky hands, which harbour the few but proudly worn calluses of a lower working class man. I envy the worker, whose oppressed cock responds only to grating pain as an asbestos grip pummels the foreskin into bloody submission. Or so I imagine.

"I'll have 2 sore heads in the morning!"

How many onion rings can you fit our your cock/strap-on/mutant clitoris? I think this should be the new measurement to replace inches. Like horses are measured in hands, and engines are measured in horsepower.

I’m a 5 ringer (on a good day). How about you?

I joined the wrong Mile High Club


Saturday 12th March

I was going to behave like a normal person
But then I got high
I was going to look my friends in the eye
But then I got high
I woke up the next morning still in the sky
And I know why!
Why?
Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high…

I got so high that I felt like I was in a hypergalactic supermarket (or a supergalactic hypermarket) and I’d lost my mummy.

At one point I suddenly became phobic of my own voice and was mute for the rest of the evening, batting my eyelashes and blushing whenver people looked at me.

When I was about 13, I needed a wee while I was in town with my dad. He took me in a public toilet and stopped to smell the air.
“Can you smell that, son?” he asked.
I sniffed, and besides the ammonia and farts, there was a herby stench. I nodded.
“That’s marijuana, that is” he said with pride. “I used to sprinkle it on my coffee in the morning” he reminisced. “Lovely”.

 

Tuesday 15th March

Esther has just told me that it’s MY FAULT that we don’t have sex! Ha! My fault!

“You’re not getting any sex until you’ve had counselling” she proclaimed.
“You never want sex anyway” I sneered, wise to her game.
“I’m all better now, I can have sex whenever I want, but you’re a complete neurotic!” she stated. “And you’re getting worse”.

A small, well aimed A-bomb whistled down through my emotional cortex. As a mushroom cloud obliterated my thoughts, Esther went back to smoking her cigarette.

“Can you have this conversation later?” demands Lisa. “When I’m not here”.
We nod. But to be honest I prefer to have a witness so that Esther can’t later deny having said some pivotal, game-changing statement that rocks me to my core.

“You just think sex is a way of boosting your self esteem” says Esther.
“No I don’t”. Do I? No, that’s what cakes are for. I see it as a way of shining a spotlight on as many insecurities as I can at once: penis size, lack of co-ordination, inability to talk dirty, getting stuck in my own clothes.
“And you’re very unattractive when you’re mentally ill!” Ouch.
“You’re ugly when I’m mentally ill!” I want to reply, but then I would just be confirming her point that I have a problem.
I need a shrink.

Why does the 82 bus have carpet on its ceiling? Is it to make the next fall from an embankment more pleasant? So when it’s upside down on a train track, at least you get somewhere to wipe your bloody shoes before you crawl to safety?

I hate running for the bus because I know it must be full of people like me who are gagging to laugh at some nerd who is running for the bus and failing. It’s like I can see myself from inside the bus, and I look bloody funny. I sort of wither at that point and the bus pulls away. The me on the bus gets to work on time. What a wanker.

Last week I watched Let Me In (2010), a pointless American remake of Let the Right One In. But I fell in love.
The vampire girl, Abby, is so beautiful that I would kill for her. I would die for her. I would give her my last rolo and my last drop of blood.
She is everything that makes me weak at the knees: power, self-assurance, innocence, vulnerability, and fucked-upness.
If only life was like that- instead of being an ugly loveless freak at school, I could have been an ugly freak who got the girl. The weird, psychotic girl who kills people and drinks their blood.
She is my current obsession. I always feel guilty about my obsessions so I say to Esther, “She has an amazing face”.
Esther knows what this means and plans her counterattack.
“Yes but I bet she’ll be ugly when she’s older” she states
“Yeah” I reply, to prove my faithfulness.

"Don't look at me, I'll make your face ache"

Things that are too perfect make my jaw ache. Nancy in the last Elm Street film is so beautiful that I almost can’t look at her. She makes my jaw ache.

I ought to go and see the doctor really. I’m sure all that energy should be going to my private parts instead.
In a seminar last year, I tried to get this idea across to the other students, to see if I really was a freak. “Someone so beautiful that it’s too painful to look at them” I explained.
Everyone else went quiet. “Err, not really” someone muttered.
“I know what you mean” one girl said, “I feel like that when I look at Jason Statham”.
This takes a second to compute.
“Each to their own” I reply.
The girl left my course shortly after to get married to a farmer. I imagine Jason Statham manhandling a tractor while she grapples with udders in the next field.

"I've got a brand new combine harvester"

What’s Polish for Devo?


Devo has become obsessed with an Alsatian called Pogo that he meets in the park. Their friendship dynamic involves Devo annoying the hell out of Pogo, and then Pogo knocking him to the ground and making him cower.

Pogo’s owner is a para-military-looking Polish man.
Yesterday, Devo headbutted the man in the balls so hard that he fell to his knees.
“It’s ok, he is too small to make me hard” he reassured Lisa and Esther in broken English.
They presumed this was a bad translation.
The girls were on their own, and the Polish man asked to meet them at 12 the next day. Presuming it was for the dog’s sake, they agreed.
The next day, Lisa has forgotten and at 1pm she sets off to the park with Dom. As they near the entrance, she seems the fed up Polish man looking up and down the road. As he spots her, and them Dom, he quickly turns and disappears up the road.

How can you tell between being friendly and consenting to marriage, Lisa thinks.

Yesterday, we met up again with the Pole. He seems to have accepted that he cannot take any of us. He called Goldie “the queen mother” because she is old and slow and dignified. If you could see her you would know this is a stroke of genius.

"Biscuit please"

He suddenly goes marching off into the woods “You smell that? That is wild garlic”. He marches to a bunch of leaves, pulls one up, and sniffs. “Not this” he says and marches off again. Finally he has found the garlic. He offers me some to smell.

Why do we not learn this stuff at school? We are like urban foxes who only know how to hang out by the Subway bins. We are rubbish at being wild.

It is both scary and exciting the way that Europeans do everything you wish you could but are trained not to as a good, upstanding Englishperson. Balls to that. I want to act like a big kid, sniffing plants and forcing poetry into mundanity. I am on the bus and a boy next to me has his right leg resting on his left knee (I’m sure there’s a word for this).

His foot is pointed towards me, inches from my knee. His shoe looks fucking massive. Dammit, my size 11s are feeling inadequate for once. I want to mirror his position and press my sole to his and compare sizes. I almost do it, but chicken out.

Is it normal to want to strike up a conversation with bigfoot? Is it normal to feel drawn to giants and want to ask exactly how high?

At some stage Esther and Lisa are going to have to find a new park, because they can no longer scurry past anonymously if there is someone who expects them to chat like normal functional adults. The stuttering snippets of convo so far are the outer limit of their capabilities, not the precursor to casual friendship that mr Polish man expects.

Such is the life of a social phobe.

Esther and me walk Devo and Goldie today. We always keep Devo on a lead until we are safely on the big field where he can harass other dogs and chase sticks rather than eating small children and biting bottoms.

As we unleash him, he gallops across the field and stops in his tracks. He’s smelled something nice. He throws himself on the grass and begins to furiously rub himself again and again.

Oh God, he’s found some duck shit, we think.

Dogs seem to love having greasy, stinky duck faeces on their necks. Eau de toilette indeed.

I start to walk over to stop him, and he ignores my shouts and claps and writhes in ecstasy on this patch of ground.

As I come up to him, I see a lump of flesh. It is round and pink with bits of fur stuck in it. It is the top half of a rat. And it stinks of rancid cheese, quite like my bottom does.

“Get away from it” I shout “you filthy fucker”

I chase him off it and the stench worsens. Esther and me gag, and throw sticks in all directions to make him forget about it.

On the way back, Esther runs ahead and makes Dom run a bath for the little filth hound. His coat is put straight in the bin. Meat and cheese are off the menu for today.

Why can’t animals ever finish off their dinners? It’s rude to leave stuff on your plate. It’s like if you sacrifice your child to God, and when you climb up the temple steps you realise that only the arms and head have been bitten off. “My baby was not a gingerbread man” you shout. It’s just not right.

"Go ahead, make my day!"